(her outfit for breakfast and morning play with no mention of going outside!)
From dressing herself, putting on her boots all by herself to eating on her own and climbing down stairs like "a big girl" with no hand holding, we are at the stage of discovering more independence.
It is really a fun stage as Hannah seems determined to learn something new she can do, almost every day, but I must admit its also a sad stage in a way when we realize she's not our little baby girl anymore. Like tonight when she had to "read" to me at bedtime reading time instead of letting me read, it was adorable and sad all rolled into one!
How can I help her during this stage?
Be patient, as things take 10 million times longer sometimes, listen to what she wants and encourage her as she learns and tries. At the same time set boundaries so she knows what she can do and decide and what we decide and do. For instance, no matter how much she likes to walk funny around, she can not walk by herself across a road or in a parking lot, she must hold our hand or else we will scoop her up no matter the protest. It is for her safety and we explain that to her. There are also times that she can decide a part, but not the whole, so instead of giving her free reign I give her a choice - does she want Daddy to take her up to bed or Mommy? Bed is not an option but who goes up first can be or for church I dont really want her picking out mismatching sweats just yet so I give her an option of 2 or 3 outfits Ive already prepicked out and so far its worked!
We are learning as we go and no doubt Hannah will help us learn more!
I just have to be more patient, plan ahead and strive to find that balance of giving Hannah the independence she craves and help her set up some healthy boundaries to learn.
She is quite the character and I must admit I look forward to each new day wondering how she will surprise me today!